Grieving – is food a FRIEND or FOE?

Are you an emotional eater?

Can the right foods help your stress level?

Food can be both friend and foe related to stress and grieving.  I know that I am an emotional eater.  When stressed, I head for chocolate, wine and ice cream – in nay order.  I gained 30 pounds after my 21-year-old son died and more after my 30-year marriage fell apart following that.  As I aged and that extra weight got more accustomed to me and I to it, it became harder to lose.

Don’t beat yourself up, we all do it!  (or most of us, in some form – up or down)

Just be aware of it, give yourself a break during the early heavy grief period, then decide what is important and how to deal with it.  Know that carbs are comforting but not very nutritional  and on the flip side, green vegetables produce serotonin to help your mood.

I studied nutrition with the AFPA – American Fitness Prof & Assoc, and I discovered Juice Plus back in 2009.  JP+ is fruits and veggies that are tested to ensure no pesticides+, then juiced raw and dried at low temperature to retain the nutrient value.  I liked that approach because it was food, nothing else – and I figured Mother Nature knows best (not the scientists who fracture nutrients into man-made supplements).

Within two weeks, I felt an improvement in my mood and over time — my hair, skin, teeth and immune system improved.  Then I saw health improvements in others around me taking JP+ (I still take it, so does my husband and son).  I also attended countless lectures by the many doctors in nutrition eduction events on the benefit of raw foods.  Even the Center for Disease Control, the FDA and other government agencies recommend eating 13-17 servings of fruits and veggies daily.  That’s not even considering the impact of traumatic grief, which adds stress and depletes health over normal situations.

How do you do that???  Especially when you are listless and foggy with grief?

Some things that are helpful in making it easy – for yourself or others:

Useful articles with details, opinions and depth from other nutrition specialists:

Bottom line – TAKE CRE OF YOURSELF!  food heart

  • Try NOT to beat yourself up.  
  • LET GO of the guilt and forgive.
  • Be GRATEFUL every day
  • Get some rest, EAT WELL, and get some exercise
  • Reach out for HELP and PAMPER yourself occasionally
  • INDULGE when you need to – whether anyone is watching  or not!  


You do not need anyone’s permission to take care of YOU!  NO ONE ELSE looks after you and knows what you need like you do. Your departed loved ones want that for you and you’ll be more effective for the ones remaining.


            …supporting your journey to a new normal.

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         Barbara J Hopkinson
         President & Executive Director



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